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From Senior Deputy Commissioner John B. King, Jr.
December 10, 2009

November Meeting of the Board of Regents

The Board of Regents acted in support of the following initiatives:

  • Curriculum Frameworks and Professional Development

    The State Education Department will design a process and funding strategy (including seeking competitively awarded federal funding) to produce revised curriculum frameworks and to align professional development with the newly developed frameworks. These curriculum frameworks will provide an additional level of specificity to the New York State learning standards which would serve as the foundation for providing all students with a world-class curriculum.  These frameworks would include not only English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, but Economics, Technology, and the Arts as well.

    See the Regents item on Development of Sequenced Curriculum Frameworks and Aligned Professional Development for more information.

  • Virtual High School Initiative

    The State Education Department will begin development of a virtual high school initiative for the 2011-12 school year. This initiative builds on the online credit recovery initiative approved for 2010-11 and will provide access to rigorous courses and content-rich instruction aligned with New York State Learning Standards.

    See the Regents item on the Virtual High School Initiative for more information.

  • College and Career Readiness Working Group

    The Board of Regents endorsed the creation of a College and Career Readiness Working Group to be appointed by the Chancellor and comprised of Regents, Department staff, and experts from P-12, higher education, and the business community. The Working Group would be charged with developing recommendations for consideration by the Regents on the redesign of the New York State high school diploma requirements and Regents exams to better align them with college and career readiness, as well as a review of the GED policy and program.

    See the Regents item on the College and Career Readiness Working Group for more information.

  • Recommendations for Transforming Teacher Preparation and Recruiting Skilled Teachers in High Need Schools

    The Board of Regents consented on the direction of a series of recommendations poised to transform the preparation and practice of teaching and to support the recruitment of quality teachers in high need subjects and schools.  The recommendations included:
    1. Putting in place performance-based assessments for initial certification in addition to rigorous content exams.
    2. Putting in place performance-based assessments for professional certification, including the use of student achievement data.
    3. Allowing secondary-level certification applicants to use alternative means to demonstrate content knowledge with work experience and acceptable rigorous examinations in combination with undergraduate/graduate level coursework.
    4. Creating transparent data profiles of teacher preparation institutions.
    5. Authorizing colleges and universities, cultural institutions, research centers, non-profit organizations, and others - on the basis of an RFP process - to certify teachers for placement in high needs schools through clinically-based pilot programs. The Board of Regents would award Master’s degrees to those students who complete registered pilot programs offered by non-collegiate institutions.
    6. New incentives to recruit and retain teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) areas in high needs schools including:
      • An expedited pathway to encourage scientists, engineers, and mathematicians with doctoral degrees or Master’s degrees with higher education teaching experience to teach in our State’s high needs high schools.
      • A new differential incentive to recruit and retain teachers to support the learning needs of students in STEM disciplines in the State’s high need schools. Effective teachers in high needs schools certified in a STEM discipline (or teachers of English language learners or students with disabilities supporting teachers in STEM disciplines) would be eligible to receive as much as a $30,000 total bonus over the course of five years.

    The recommendations shared this month will be modified consistent with feedback from members of the Regents Committees and will inform the State’s Race to the Top proposal.  In addition, Department staff will reach out to educators, professional organizations, union leaders, and other partners in the field for input into the implementation plan for each of the strategies.

    See the Regents item on Transforming Teaching and Ensuring an Equitable Distribution of Qualified Teachers in New York State for more information.

The Board of Regents also discussed and considered policy questions for several crucial issues:

  • Graduation Rate Goal and Annual Targets

    The Committee considered four policy questions to help determine the graduation rate goal and annual targets they wish to establish for New York State and submit to USED for approval:
    1. What is the percentage of students in an accountability group that schools and districts should be expected to graduate within five years of first entry into grade nine?
    2. If an accountability group is below the specified graduation goal, how much annual progress must the group make in order to still make adequate yearly progress (AYP)?
    3. Is there any minimum graduation rate (floor) for an accountability group below which a school or district should not make AYP even if the school or district is achieving the annual performance target with that group?
    4. Do the Regents want to establish an aspirational graduation rate goal and a separate graduation rate goal for accountability purposes?

    Staff will come back in December with additional information on options available to the Regents for establishing a new graduation rate goal and annual targets.

    See the Regents item on Establishing a Graduation Rate Goal and Annual Targets for Accountability for more information.

  • Proposed Amendment to Conform Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Teachers’ Certificates and Teaching Practice to the New York State Patriot Act

    The Committees discussed a proposed amendment to conform the Commissioner’s regulations to certain provisions of the Patriot Plan, which was enacted by the Legislature in Chapter 106 of the Laws of 2003.  The proposed amendment will be presented for adoption at the December 2009 meeting of the Board of Regents.

    See the Regents item on Teachers’ Certificates and Teaching Practice PDF file icon (77 KB) for more information.

Additional News

Release of the NYS Preliminary Draft of Mentoring Standards

The State Education Department has released the New York State Preliminary Draft of Mentoring Standards for public review and comment. To view a letter from Deputy Commissioner Joseph Frey, the preliminary draft standards, and the web response form, see the memo at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/memos/memo110609.html. The deadline for comment is January 15, 2010.

Healthy Steps To Albany

First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson invites your school to participate in the 2010 Healthy Steps to Albany Challenge. The six-week program encourages middle school students to make their health a top priority. Program information can be found online at http://www.healthystepstoalbany.ny.gov/ external link icon.

New Deadline Announced for the 2009-2010 BMI/Weight Status Category Survey

The Department of Health has informed SED that due to the additional reporting associated with H1N1 and school absenteeism, the due date for the 2010 Weight Status Category & 2010 Obesity-Related Health Conditions Surveys is extended from January 29, 2010 to March 31, 2010.  For further information please contact the Department of Health at 518-408-5126.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2010